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Summary: Materials for construction of a Christian home...a Father’s Day sermon.

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June 17, 2001

In a pensive mood, reflecting on their long marriage, Ralph asked Henrietta the dreaded “If I die first” question:

Etta, dear, if I die first, would you remarry?

Henrietta replied, Probably, dear...our marriage has been so wonderful, and you’re so thoughtful I know you would want me to find happiness again.

Would you live here, in our house with your new husband? Probably, dear.

Would he sleep in our bed? Probably, dear.

Would you let your new husband use my custom-made Jack Nicklaus special Ping golf clubs?

Oh, no, dear, he’s left-handed.

There is something about the foundation of Henrietta and Ralph’s marriage that needs attention!

Many of you are aware that Carrie and Shannon have recently bought a house. The house they thought they would buy turned out to have major problems - besides a bank that wanted them to sign all those papers!

That first house had a foundation problem. The foundation was built improperly. Fifty years ago the code allowed 2” x 8” floor joists, spaced 24" apart. Today that is considered substandard. In addition, the basement leaks like a sieve. It leans in several directions! The construction was not exactly professional, having concrete blocks below the ground level, and only one row of bricks stacked four-high above.

In addition, due to the floor problems, previous owners had put poles in the basement to support the sagging floor. That added to the problem, rather than helping to solve it. As explained to me by the house inspector, when the poles took the weight off the sagging floor, it also took the load off the walls of the basement. That load is part of the strength of a basement wall.

Without the load from the covering floor, years of pressure from the outside dirt and water that won’t drain-off, have pushed-in the weakened walls to the point where collapse of the walls (and the fall of any Humpty Dumptys above) is imminent!

Now, that house is a picture of what has happened to marriage and the family in our society today. Divorce, like the basement poles, has become so simple, and prevalent in dealing with marital pressures, less than a third of marriages survive a dozen years any more. There are weakened walls in marriage everywhere.

Now, God knew those pressures (financial, relational, emotional) would be in marriage. In fact those pressures help a married couple become one flesh, which is God’s design. Like the pressure from above, those troubles drive us together to work out our marriage vows. Take away that weight, and the weakened walls of marriage cave-in to the weight of the dirt and stagnant-water-thinking society that says:

Give it up -- you don’t need him...

Pack it in, she’s not worth it!

Our society today suffers from crumbling walls of marriage and the home. Much of it is due to foundational problems.

This week’s THE DISPATCH carried Lynn Johnson’s cartoon strip, For Better or For Worse. The young girl, Elizabeth has grown up. She is considering moving in with her boyfriend. She says, …I was just thinking about what a serious step this is. Her boyfriend questions, A serious step? Elizabeth answers, Moving in with you! It’s a major commitment. I just want it to work out.

The boyfriend, in his youthful and infinite wisdom philosophically reassures her, Elizabeth, what we have together is magic! You are the most important thing in my life. Trust me. This will work out. Then, with shoulders shrugged, he adds, An’ hey! – If it doesn’t…we’ll move on! Man alive! Who couldn’t build on THAT foundation?

Well, it’s Father’s Day – the day when the collect calls come from everywhere. Mother’s Day had us tuned into why feminism doesn’t work. Today it is time for the men to belly-up to the table. Let’s look at what kind of materials we should bring to the construction of our homes, gentlemen. Dads, please consider five kinds of love that will build your home:

1. Sacrificial Love

25And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)

Being sacrificial means being ready to give. Jesus willingly went to the cross for our sins. Paul says that husbands are to be like that. There is an alarming trend against unselfishness these days. Dr.

Willard Harley, a psychologist and marriage counselor, writes:

…during courtship, it’s not uncommon for women to join men in hunting, fishing, watching football, or other activities they would never choose on their own. They want to spend as much time as possible with men they like, and that means going where the men like to go.

If a woman finds that she just can’t tolerate the man’s favorite activities, they generally break up. But if she can hang on and become his recreational companion, that friendship is likely to lead to a marriage. Without recreational companionship, few couples would ever fall in love.

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